Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg

by Kingsway Centre of Concern: Thandanani House of Refuge
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Support 22 Children During Covid-19 in Jo'burg
Manana thriving in her Hospitality training
Manana thriving in her Hospitality training

Dear Thandanani Friend

In my last report I mentioned that four of our young people had completed high school and were hoping to study further based on their much awaited results. Well I am happy to give you the feedback that all 4 passed their final exams and the status is as follows:

  • Palesa is studying Teaching after donors came forward and covered her first year fees.
  • Manana is studying Hospitality after receiving a 100% bursary from a local company.
  • Esther is studying a course in Early Childhood Development.
  • Xoli passed his exams but was disappointed with 2 of his subject marks which prevented him from entering the course of his choice, so he is busy preparing to re-write these subjects this month.

Apart from the 4 young people above who have just graduated from high school there is also Zyna who has now entered into the 3rd year of her IT course, at which she is thriving, and hopes to be able to become independent next year and move out on her own. And Sam who accepted an internship at a medical research company studying Covid.

We have a serious challenge at Thandanani with respect to where our home is located as the lawlessness around us continues to escalate, to the point where it has become an imperative that we find an alternative location. This of course is easier said than done (especially the cost of such a move), but we’ve started looking at alternatives, and will keep you posted.

As the worst of the Covid pandemic is behind us and there's an expectation that life will start returning to normal, we have decided to retire this project as it was aimed at raising support to carry us through the last 2 difficult years. So this will be our last report on this project.

Once again many thanks for every contribution you have made.

Kind regards

Paul

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Dear Thandanani Friend

Well 2022 has arrived and it brings with it a new set of challenges, but also new hope, notwithstanding Covid.

January marks the start of a new school year, and as we have mentioned many times before the hope for our children is a good education whereby they can rise above their circumstances and plot a new course for their lives.

Four of our children completed high school last year and all of them are hoping to study further:

  • Xoli hopes to study Engineering next year and is eagerly awaiting his final school results, as well as funding applications that have been made on his behalf.
  • Palesa hopes to study Teaching and is also eagerly awaiting her results.
  • Manana has enrolled to study Hospitality and is just awaiting the confirmation of her funding.
  • Esther has enrolled to study an Early Childhood Development course which will equip her to work at a Kindergarten or Nursery School.

It should be noted, that due to Covid, the last 2 years of tuition for the above final-year students has been less than satisfactory, hence the apprehension about their results, and in an effort to assist them with their final year exams we received the voluntary assistance of a group of teachers and ex-teachers who gave up their time every Saturday for about 2 months to give extra coaching - a huge thank you for their assistance.

Your support helps us to help them achieve their dreams, so once again many thanks for every contribution you have made.

Kind regards

Paul

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As I look back on my reports over the past 18 months it seems that Covid has featured in almost all of them, and I guess it’s a sad reflection on the state of the pandemic worldwide and the disruption it has caused to everyone, not least to Thandanani. I previously reported that we had managed to evade any Covid infections at the Home, but sadly it eventually caught up with us in the last 3 months.

Xoli, who is in his final year of high school, was in the midst of writing his mid-year exams when he tested positive and had to stay at home. But not to be outdone he was able to continue writing at home under supervision, and then to make sure that he didn’t pass any virus back to his teachers, the exam papers were hung out on the washing line for an airing, from where they were collected in due course by our house manager and returned to the school – definitely not an everyday sight to see exam papers on a washing line.

The access road into Thandanani is rather rough to say the least, so it was not surprising when one of our 2 vehicles (which was 12 years old) finally decided to call it a day. As our public transport system is less than adequate we had no choice but to start looking for a replacement, otherwise we’d have had a problem getting the kids to school, visiting the doctor, doing the shopping, etc. So we are now the proud owners of a new Suzuki Ertiga which can transport 7 children, however, it was not an expense that we had anticipated this year, so it has put a strain on our financial resources.

The South African economy has been hit hard by Covid, and the knock-on effect is that many donors are thinking twice before making a donation, resulting in many charities taking strain, and in fact some have had to close due to the reduced income. Thandanani has felt the pinch as well, resulting in our income being somewhat lower than the same time last year, plus we’ve had the expense of the vehicle, so if you are able to assist it would really be appreciated.

As we move out of winter and into spring (in the southern hemisphere), and as the 3rd wave of Covid seems to be receding rapidly, we look forward with renewed hope and optimism to what the future may hold.

Kind Regards

Paul

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Fun on the Jungle Gym
Fun on the Jungle Gym

Thandanani is located in the informal settlement of Zandspruit which is a sprawling mass of shacks which has grown exponentially since we established our children’s home on the outskirts almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately, with the growth of the settlement comes an equal growth in crime which the authorities are challenged to contain, resulting in the residents taking the law into their own hands. The ugliness of this form of so called “mob justice” is what we try to shield our children from, but it becomes increasingly difficult to do so as Zandspruit now completely encircles us, and although we have been spared any incidents involving our children, we have come to the conclusion that we need to find a new location for our home. Of course finding a new location is easier said than done, not to mention that the cost far exceeds what we can afford, nevertheless it’s a challenge that we believe we must rise to.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as we see our children successfully progressing with their education.

  1. Sam completed his training as a welder and has found his first job and hopes to be able to move out of Thandanani and establish himself in his own home in the near future.
  2. Zyna is in her second year of a 3-year course in Computer Science and is doing exceptionally well.
  3. Xoli is in his final year of secondary school, and is hoping to attend university next year to study Civil Engineering.
  4. Palesa is in her final year of secondary school, and is hoping to study teaching next year.

And of course as winter approaches we’re now facing our 3rd wave of Covid-19 with the challenges which that will bring. We are extremely grateful that none of our children has contracted the virus to date, but we’re going to have to continue to be vigilant over the coming months.

So we continue to be thankful for all the positives things that we see happening, and we remain confident that we will find a way to overcome the obstacles that face us, never forgetting our supporters who have walked a long road with us for which we are eternally grateful.

Best wishes

Paul

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Claudia's Graduation
Claudia's Graduation

In my last report I said that “… we were well past the peak of the pandemic … “ but little did I know at the time that the 2nd wave was about to hit us, which it did in December, and our challenges of the early part of 2020 have returned including the challenge of online education. Fortunately our school summer holidays started mid-December and ran through to end-January, so the impact will only be from February onwards.

During the holidays it is always our goal to try and re-unite some of our children with their extended family members so that when they eventually leave us they still have a support base. Of course this is not always possible for a variety of reasons e.g. they were abandoned and the family can’t be found, or the home environment of the family member is not considered safe. But I am pleased to say we were able to re-unite a high percentage of our children this year, even if it was only for a couple of weeks, the only sad part is that it re-enforces the feeling of abandonment for those left at Thandanani knowing they don’t have family outside of Thandanani.

As in any family it’s always sad when a family member leaves, and so it was when our Social Worker (Zandile) resigned in October. Zandile had been with us since 2005 and had become an integral part of the family and a confidant of the children. But there was also a silver lining because one of our house moms (Claudia) had been studying for a Social Work degree by correspondence, and had just qualified earlier in 2020, so it was an ideal opportunity to promote her into the role of the new Social Worker. Of course this caused a chain reaction and left us short of a house mom, but I am pleased to report that we found a lovely new lady (Sibongile) who has come on board and has fitted in from Day1.

So as we move into 2021 with it’s ongoing Covid challenges we do so ever thankful for you, our supporters, that have supported us through some difficult times, and for this we are eternally grateful.

Best Wishes

Paul

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Organization Information

Kingsway Centre of Concern: Thandanani House of Refuge

Location: Johannesburg - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @thandananihouse
Project Leader:
Paul McKibbin
Johannesburg, South Africa

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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